Auto Racing


I first started racing about four years ago. It was supposed to be a one time publicity race for Mazda, where they were going to run a four Playmate team in the 25 hours at Thunderhill Raceway Park. Out of the four Playmates only two of us completed the Skip Barber program that was required for us race and while Thunderhill never happened, Mazda unlocked a new need for speed I never knew I had in me.
Racing the Mazda MX5 is fun, but it was learning to drive the cars that I once had a fear of that I found the most rewarding.
I remember when Mazda had me train in an open wheel car, not because they wanted me to ever run in the series, but simply to learn car control in something different than what I used to. I fought this idea pretty hard and recall having a conversation with my mentor arguing that this type of training was completely pointless and a waist of time. I will forever remember his words when he said, “Pilar, just try it. You don’t need to be good at it, just try it. If you hate it you will never have to do it again.” I agreed against my true desire to just not try it all.
The truth was I was absolutely terrified. Please read that word again because I was not just scared, I was TERRIFIED! I was so far out of my comfort zone and instead of just saying I was scared my ego kept me saying it was just a pointless form of training that was a stupid waist of everyone’s time.
When the morning came and I was sitting inside the open wheel car that hid my body but left my head completely exposed, I was shaking so bad my teeth were chattering. My instructors just thought I was cold. And of course I wrote it off to being cold. Again the truth was I wasn’t shivering because I was cold, I was trembling with fear.
Watching the flag waiting for it to start waiving giving me my cue to go, my head felt like a freight train of thoughts was running through it. I tried to keep cool with a bad attitude telling myself I don’t need to go fast, this is so stupid, I just need to not run into the wall, and soon enough this will pass faster than I know it, and I can go home. The green flag started to waive and I did what I was instinctively trained to do..GO. I let out the biggest scream of life! I yelled so loud that later my instructors told me they were actually a little concerned when they heard it over the loud sound of my engine.
When I let out my scream, I felt I let out not just a loud voice, but I also let everything out! My fear, my anxiety, my bad attitude and I let myself do what I did best and enjoy the ride. It was at that moment that I realized racing has taught me what it is like to live in nothing but in the present moment. Once I let go of everything except of the task right in front of me, everything I feared was gone. I was peaceful and calm, and going fast as hell! I rocked the track! I understood to be a better driver in my current series learning to control a different car only made me that much more precise in controlling the car I was racing.
I got out of the open wheel car with a smile stretched from ear to ear. I just wanted to drive the open wheel car over and over around the track. I had a blast! Since then, I have continued training in different cars that I wouldn’t necessarily race in, but just to change things up. Eventually this lead me to racing in the Off Road series. Racing has taught so much more than just how to drive a car at high speeds, it has taught me to release fears so they don’t get in the way of trying something that you never knew may really love. Because of racing I have a passion for trying new things and when something gives me a little anxiety I quickly try it just to show myself the only thing there is to fear is the unknown. By doing this I get a better understanding of the task and realize it wasn’t so scary after all. I recommend everyone try what they fear just once, because you never know, you may love it; and if you don’t like it then you will never have to try it again.
But at least this way you will know exactly why you don’t like it.

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